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How to get your kids to throw more strikes

Hitters at all levels will get themselves out, especially at the youth level - even high school. If you have a child that pitchers or a team you coach, use the illustration above to train and explain an aggressive mental approach.

For youth players, there's no such thing as throwing too many strikes. 

Early in the count (purple part in picture)

Strike one is the most important stat to a pitcher being successful. A goal you should set for your pitchers is 75% first pitch strikes - 3 out of every 4 hitters.

  • Have your pitchers throw fastballs
  • Have your catchers set up middle of the plate, low target
  • 4-seam fastballs

Ahead in the count (red part in picture)

  • Still think fastball
  • Set goal of 3 pitches or less to every hitter
  • Have catchers set up middle-in, middle-out

Way ahead in the count (blue part in picture)

  • No waste pitches (pitches way out of zone are no good)
  • Encourage getting outs with well located fastballs
  • Catchers can set up on the corners or just off

Pitching behind in the count

Fastballs. We see youth players throw way too many off-speed pitches at the wrong times. This should never be done behind in the count unless you have a kid that is well developed and really sharp on a particular day.

Utmost importance

Think of a kid's future. The earlier you can plant this mindset in your kids the better. It's okay for kids to give up hits and runs rather than 3 to 6 walks every outing. This is setting a foundation for their future success. Getting hit around is going to happen, but more often than not balls will be put in play so your defense has a chance to make plays for your pitcher. Stay aggressive!

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